A GamesBeat 2011 debate: Will the deep end or the shallow end of gaming thrive?

Today we’re revealing the ninth group of speakers for our third annual GamesBeat 2011 conference. These speakers are going to engage in a debate about The Shallow or the Deep End of Gaming. Trion Worlds’ Lars Buttler will argue that the deep end of the pool is where you want to be: the hardcore online games that take years to make and can last for years under subscription models. But Pocket Gem CEO Daniel Terry claims the “shallow” end of the pool is best: casual, short time demand games that are made by small teams in a matter of months. Which is the path to riches?

You can’t get any more opposite than Buttler and Terry. Our moderator is Michael Pachter, managing director and gaming analyst at Wedbush Securities. These speakers are some of 63 we have already booked for the conference. By the end of this, we could have more than 70 speakers. (See our agenda).

Lars Buttler’s Trion Worlds has raised more than $100 million to create a factory for massively multiplayer online games. The company took almost five years to launch its first game, subscription-based Rift, which has topped a million users. More MMOs are coming because Buttler made a huge bet, hiring multiple teams to work on multiple MMOs at the same time. Buttler previously was the vice president for global online at Electronic Arts, where he ran EA’s strategy for online games. He also worked at the Carlyle Group and Wingcast Europe. Buttler is also serving on another session at GamesBeat 2011 about Raising a Big Pile of Money.

Daniel Terry co-founded Pocket Gems in 2009 — while he was still in MBA school — to make mobile games on the iPhone. The company is off to a hot start. The company’s games such as Tap Farm and Tap Zoo have been downloaded more than 30 million times. But Pocket Gems has a relatively small team, with a few dozen people in San Francisco. And it has raised $5 million. Terry has an MBA from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Cornell University. He was also vice president of engineering at Smart Leaf.

Michael Pachter is a very quotable analyst who will probably get into the thick of the debate himself. Pachter is frequently quoted in the press and does regular video segments, dubbed Pach Attack for GameTrailers.com. He has spent more than 20 years as a finance professional. He has served as the research director at Wedbush Morgan Securities and as a director at Management Resource Center.

The GamesBeat 2011 conference takes place July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Our previous announced speakers include Mark Friedler, game industry consultant; Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam; Joe Kraus, partner at Google Ventures; Shervin Pishevar, managing director of Menlo Ventures;  Peter Driessen, CEO of Spil Games; Julian Farrior, CEO of Backflip Studios; Kris Duggan, CEO of Badgeville; Jeferson Valadares, general manager of games at Flurry; Gabe Leydon, chief executive of Addmired; Lou Fasulo, chief operating officer of Z2Live; Dave Castelnuovo, CEO of Bolt Creative; David Marcus, founder and CEO of Zong; Rich Wong, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners; Chris Bergstresser, executive vice president of online gaming portal Miniclip;  Neil Young, founder and CEO of Ngmoco; Andrej Nabergoj, founder and chief executive of Outfit7; Jason Citron, founder and chief executive of OpenFeint; Steve Perlman, chief executive of games-on-demand firm OnLive; Trip Hawkins, chief executive of Digital Chocolate; Peter Relan, chairman of YouWeb and chief executive of CrowdStar; Si Shen, chief executive of PapayaMobile; David Ko, senior vice president for mobile at Zynga; our keynote speaker, longtime game entrepreneur and founder of Atari, Nolan BushnellTim Chang, partner at Norwest Venture Partners; Bing Gordon, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former chief creative officer at Electronic Arts; Suli Ali, CEO of TinyCo; Sana Choudary, CEO of game startup accelerator YetiZen; and Tim Merel, managing director of Digi-Capital.

Each year, GamesBeat follows a big trend. In 2009, we focused on how All The World’s a Game, with the explosion of games onto a global stage. Last year, GamesBeat@GDC focused on Disruption 2.0. This year, our theme is Mobile Games Level Up, and it focuses on the busy intersection of games and mobile technology. We’ll focus on everything from smartphone games to tablets and handhelds.

Console games dominated the news in the past, but the center of attention is rapidly shifting toward mobile as more and more users play games on the run. While there are hundreds of millions of gamers on Facebook, analysts believe the number could be much higher for mobile games. Our speakers are right at this intersection of gaming and mobility. GamesBeat 2011 targets an audience of CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, investors, marketers and other key figures in the game business. Stay tuned for more speaker announcements.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com. Our sponsors include Qualcomm, Flurry, Greystripe, Nexage, Tapjoy, Fun Mobility, TriNet, Zong, Spil Games and WildTangent.